The smell of summer is well and truly in the air as trucks carrying aromatic summer stonefruit continue to make their way from orchards across Australia to green-grocers and supermarkets nationwide.
Stonefruit is rich in vitamins A, C and E and a great source of dietary fibre and potassium. They’re also delicious and it’s all thanks to our hardworking farmers who work around the clock to deliver a bounty of fresh fruit sure to tantalise the taste buds. So whether youre craving sweet and juicy ready-to-eat peaches or a firm and crunchy nectarines, our Aussie growers have you covered.
Chairman of Summerfruits Australia, Andrew Finlay, said the excitement is palpable for the 800 growers across Australia who produce more than 100,000 tonnes of stonefruit each year.
“Our hard-working growers are constantly refining their approach to capture the wide array of stonefruit flavours consumers love. We’ve had a cold winter and lots of water for irrigation with a forecast of a hot and dry summer, allowing trees to grow well and fruit to develop flavour to its fullest,” Mr Finlay said.
“Orchardists, particularly in cooler areas of Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia, are now relying on the warm, dry days of summer to perfect the harvest while growers on the west coast are hoping for a bit of rain to sustain orchards in the next few months,” he said.
Early season’s bounty comes from sub-tropical Queensland and northern areas of Western Australia and New South Wales, followed by crops from areas in mid to southern New South Wales and Western Australia, Victoria and South Australia. Fruit from cooler climates, like Tasmania are last to market.
Stonefruit should only be stored in the fridge at peak ripeness. Refrigerating fruit stops the ripening process and will cause it to be dry and flavourless. To enjoy the fullest flavour, remove ripe stonefruit from the fridge an hour before consumption and eat at room temperature.
When purchasing ready-to-eat stonefruit, look out for ones that are fragrant and yield gently to palm pressure. The stem end of the fruit should be plump with no dark green in the cavity.
Peaches bruise easily so look for smooth, unblemished fruit and handle them with care. When ripe, they should produce a delectable full-bodied aroma and will start to lose their brightness
Nectarines give slightly when they are soft and juicy. A good sign of sweetness is the presence of white freckles on the top half
Apricots should be deep yellow, well-formed and fairly firm
Plums are at their best when plump and full-coloured